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The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s’
with Mark Sinker and Owen Hatherley

Wednesday 3rd April, 7pm

Authentocracy: Joe Kennedy & Juliet Jacques in conversation
Monday 8th April, 7pm

'Chav Solidairty' with D Hunter
Wednesday 10th April, 7pm

'Women's Struggle in the Workplace' with Sally Groves and Louise Raw
Wednesday 17th April, 7pm

Anthony Howell launches 'Consciousness (with Mutilation)'
Wednesday 24th April, 7pm

'Anarchism and Education' with Judith Suissa

Thursday 25th April, 7pm

'A Girl's Guide to Personal Hygiene: Workshop and Conversation'
withTallulah Pomeroy

Wednesday 8th May, 7pm

'4 Brown Girls Who Write'
with Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sunnah Khan, and Sheena Patel

Tuesday 14th May, 7pm

'This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism'
with author Ashton Applewhite

Monday 20th May, 7pm

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We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s’
with Mark Sinker and Owen Hatherley

Wednesday 3rd April, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night
Image result for The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s’

An anthology of conversations and essays, memories and commentary from the heyday of British pop music writing.

In its heyday, from the 1960s to the 1980s, the UK music press was the forging ground for a new critical culture, where readers could encounter anything from comics and cult films to new musical forms and radical underground politics. It created an off-mainstream collective cultural commons improvised through a networked subculture of rival weeklies, monthlies, and fanzines, including such titles as NME, Melody Maker, Sounds , Record Mirror, Black Echoes, Black Music, Let It Rock, Street Life, Zigzag, and Smash Hits.

This anthology of conversations and essays, memories and commentary explores how this uncharted space first came about, who put it together, what it achieved, and where it went. Along the way, it unearths the many surprising worlds explored by this network of young anarchists, dreamers, and agitators who dared to take pop culture seriously, and considers what remains of their critical legacy.

Contributors Valerie Wilmer, Charles Shaar Murray, Richard Williams, Penny Reel, Jonh Ingham, Jon Savage, Cynthia Rose, Paul Morley, David Toop, Bob Stanley, Barney Hoskyns, Jonathon Green, Simon Frith, Paul Gilroy, and many others

With cover and illustrations by legendary comics artist Savage Pencil.

Mark Sinker
Mark Sinker is a music writer, journalist, and former editor of The Wire magazine.

Owen Hatherley is a writer and journalist based in London who writes primarily on architecture, politics and culture. Amongst his works are A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain was published by Verso in 2010. Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings, a history of communism in Europe told through the built environments of former socialist states, was published by Allen Lane in June 2015. In 2018, he released two books, Trans-Europe Express with Allen Lane, and The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space with Repeater Books.

Authentocracy: Joe Kennedy & Juliet Jacques in conversation
Monday 8th April, 7pm - tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night
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Join Joe Kennedy and Juliet Jacques to discuss our obsession with authenticity, and the ways it has been instrumentalised politically.

We are entering, we are told, a post-liberal age. Authoritarian populism is in the ascendant, and permissiveness, multiculturalism and “identity politics” have allegedly failed us, meaning that we must now fall back on some idea of tradition. However, it’s not only the usual, conservative suspects who are making this argument, but centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP.

“Authentocracy” is the populism of the centre, with a spurious concern for “real people” that’s part of a broader turn within British culture (as exemplified in the brute masculinity of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the “progressive” patriotism of nature writing, and a televisual obsession with the World Wars), as it withdraws under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards.

In their declaration that the Left can only save itself by becoming less liberal, in Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness, Joe Kennedy charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.

About the speakers:

Joe Kennedy teaches English and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Games Without Frontiers (Repeater Books, 2016) and Authentocrats: Culture, Politics and the New Seriousness (Repeater Books, 2018).

Juliet Jacques is a writer and film-maker, whose most recent book was Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). She is the host of Suite (212) on Resonance 104.4fm.

'Chav Solidairty' with D Hunter
Wednesday 10th April - Tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the nightChav Solidarity

To the political left Hunter's people are the ignorant and the ill informed, to the victorious right they are the unwashed and discarded waste product of the labouring class. Chav Solidarity is part autobiography, part meditation on trauma, class and identity, part one finger salute into the face of respectability politics, but mostly an articulation of the contradictory heart of Chavvy shit heads across the U.K.

​This collection of essay's pick apart the lived experiences of its author. Hunter uses his experiences as child sex worker, teenage crack addict, violent thug and community activist to examine the ways in which our classed experiences shape the ways in which we think and do our politics.

Hunter is an ageing chav, whose first 25 years depended upon the informal economy including sex work, robbing, and dealing. For the last 12 years he has been an anti-capitalist motivated community organiser and spent too much time watching football. He is currently flogging a book about himself, poverty and anarchism, whilst finishing his first crime fiction novel. He pays his bills by working as a mental health support worker.

"It's full of nuanced self-reflection and complexity that refuses to caricature. Hunter offers us a gift with this book: an essential opportunity to interrogate the ways in which class informs our identities, experiences, relationships and resistance." Tripod: Training for Creative Social Action.

"Chav Solidarity is a very necessary challenge to the academic and ignorant writing on class struggles. It brings us the bluntness and authenticity that remains erased in most conversations." Eshe Kiama Zuri

'Women's Workplace Victories To Remember, That History Wants You To Forget' with Sally Groves and Louise Raw
Wednesday 17th April, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the night
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When the Bryant and May matchwomen walked out of a Bow matchfactory on strike in 1888, even they would never have guessed they were about to launch a whole movement. Their unprecedented victory against a cruelly exploitative, wealthy and very well-connected employers helped to change perceptions of working-class women. Previously, ‘factory lasses’ had been considered the ‘lowest of the low’ and ‘no better than they should be’. Now, they stood revealed as principled and articulate fighters for their sisters and their class.

But the matchwomen were still up against the prejudice of mainstream history. Because of their identities- young working-class, EastEnd and usually from Irish backgrounds at a time when there was literal racism against the Irish (considered black by Victorian eugenicists), they were the ‘wrong sort of heroines’. History re-wrote the strike (where it wrote about it at all) as something imposed on the women by middle-class socialists- making the workers mere puppets.

Louise Raw, author of ‘Striking a Light’, the only in-depth study of the strike, has campaigned for 20 years to have the magnitude of the matchwomen’s victory acknowledged. As a result, Jeremy Corbyn has now hailed them as the 'mothers' of the labour movement. An activist and writer, Louise is also resident historian on BBC London’s Robert Elms show.

The struggle against capitalism of course continued after 1888- but at least now, women could fight from within the union movement. In 1976 in at the Trico-Folberth in Brentford, West London, Sally Groves was one of 400 women who did just that. Trico management had never had any intention of abiding by the Equal Pay Act and paying their female employees more. But they made one fatal mistake- moving men from a nightshift to work alongside women. If they thought these workmates wouldn’t compare payslips, they were wrong! The women soon found out their male workmates were being paid more for exactly the same work.

Throughout the long, hot summer of 1976 and beyond, an historic 21 week battle was fought, with the employer throwing everything it could at the strikers- this was the first time American-style picket-busting convoys of lorries and ‘scab’ labour was used against strikers who were mainly women.

Astonishingly, a tribunal ruled in the employer’s favour: but their union, the AUEW, would not give in. They managed to negotiate equal pay after all. This achievement was unique, and led directly to the Equal Pay Act being amended in 1983. Incredibly well-known in its day, the story has been neglected since- perhaps precisely because it is such an inspiration to trade unionists and all the workers suffering in the so called ‘gig’ economy.

Sally Groves started working at Trico for the very sound reason that, having been offered two jobs, Trico’s hours allowed her an extra half-hour in bed. She became a stalwart union activist, the AUEW Strike Committee’s Publicity Officer, and, now, the co-author of a ground-breaking biography of the strike with Vernon Merritt. The story is highly relevant today, and a call-to-arms to everyone suffering inequality.

Anthony Howell launches 'Consciousness (with Mutilation)'
Wednesday 24th April, 7pm - Free Entry

Consciousness (with Mutilation) is a non-fiction novel. Every sentence that begins any paragraph within it also serves as the concluding sentence of another paragraph. The trigger for the text is an epileptic seizure the author experienced in April 2018. This event prompted an investigation of the meaning of continuity in individuals, families and states. Could we have been somebody else yesterday, or become somebody else tomorrow?

Consciousness annexes a Syrian novella – Mutilation – within its pages; a novella by Mamdouh Adwan, first published in Damascus in 1971. Reading this book is to be drawn into whirlpools, perhaps to drown. It is self-analysis, but, since the author’s lineage is both Jewish and Quaker, it evolves into an analysis of Zionism, of which Howell’s grandfather was a proponent, and of the role of the British in the Middle East. Having experienced sudden lapses of consciousness, the author senses that “life is not a river. Life is a collage.”

This book takes The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet for its literary forbears. In the way of ancient tragedy, the dilemma of the individual becomes the dilemma of the state, in this case Israel, and the author carries the reader into a world of smoke and mirrors, sustained by collage mediated through its formal constraint.

'Anarchism and Education' with Judith Suissa

Thursday 25th May, 7pm - Free Entry

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Autonomy Now welcomes Judith Suissa to present a philosophical account of the neglected tradition of anarchist thought on education. Although few anarchist thinkers wrote systematically on education, this analysis is based largely on a reconstruction of the educational thought of anarchist thinkers gleaned from their various ethical, philosophical and popular writings. Primarily drawing on the work of the nineteenth century anarchist theorists such as Bakunin, Kropotkin and Proudhon, Judith's research also covers twentieth century anarchist thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Paul Goodman, Daniel Guerin and Colin Ward.

Judith Suissa is a senior lecturer in philosophy of education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research and teaching are mostly in the area of political philosophy, with a focus on liberal theory, radical theories of education, utopianism, and the role of the state.

"This is an excellent book that deals with important issues through the lens of anarchist theories and practices of education . . .[it] tackles a number of issues that are relevant to anybody who is trying to come to terms with the philosophy of education." "Higher Education Review""

"Suissa's book is a valuable reminder of the possibilities that education can offer anarchists and other radicals working towards social change." "Anarchist Studies""

from the 4th to the 20th MAY

'A Girl's Guide to Personal Hygiene: Workshop and Conversation'
withTallulah Pomeroy
Wednesday 8th May, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE

So you think you’re the only one?!

A Girl’s Guide to Personal Hygiene is an illustrated collection of women’s stories about their secret bodily habits. It’s opened our eyes to the private physical worlds we never knew we shared. In this workshop we’ll be encouraged to come into our bodies, open up, loosen up and connect.

We’ll learn techniques for uninhibited drawing, connecting to our bodies and our body-image. We’ll break free from perfectionism and self-censorship. It’s a fun, immersive way to have the conversations we need, about shame, social pressure, and fanny farts. It’s funny, warm, visceral and eye-opening.

All are welcome.

'4 Brown Girls Who Write'
with Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sunnah Khan, and Sheena Patel

Tuesday 14th May, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE
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Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sunnah Khan, and Sheena Patel—began their collective performing together across London, and have put their work on the page for the first time in this vibrant new collection of poems.

Their four voices collide and diverge beautifully in this book, with poems divided into four lyrically rich chapters; ‘Silk’, ‘Saffron’, ‘Smoke’ and ‘Temples’. The book explores the spaces we inhabit: the city, the home, our skins, our sexuality, and what it means to navigate these as women of colour.

"Sunnah, Sharan, Roshni and Sheena have given us verse patterned in henna, garlanded with gold thread, alive and alert to the complicated intersections of being both brown and a woman in the world's gaze. Read this collection to see what the contemporary goddess says when she opens her mouth.We're in a glorious new age of Asian women's writing; work like this confirms it with confidence and promising fire."—Shivanee Ramlochan, author of Everyone Knows I am a Haunting

'This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism'
with author Ashton Applewhite
Monday 20th May, 7pm - Tickets in advance from HERE

From childhood on, we’re barraged by messages that it’s sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people useless. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite believed them too—until she realized where this prejudice comes from and the damage it does.

Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces Applewhite’s journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life. The book explains the roots of ageism—in history and in our own age denial—and how it divides and debases, examines how ageist myths and stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function, looks at ageism in the workplace and the bedroom, exposes the cost of the all-American myth of independence, critiques the portrayal of olders as burdens to society, describes what an all-age-friendly world would look like, and concludes with a rousing call to action.

Whether you’re older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life. Age pride!


Wow. This book totally rocks. It arrived on a day when I was in deep confusion and sadness about my age—62. Everything about it, from my invisibility to my neck. Within four or five wise, passionate pages, I had found insight, illumination and inspiration. I never use the word empower, but this book has empowered me.

ANNE LAMOTT, New York Times best-selling author

Along comes Ashton Applewhite with a book we have been waiting for. Anti-ageism now boasts a popular champion, activist, and epigrammatist in the lineage of Martial and Dorothy Parker. Until This Chair Rocks we haven’t had a single compact book that blows up myths seven to a page like fireworks.


'Safe as houses: Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell' with Stuart Hodkinson

Friday 14th June, 7pm- - Tickets in advance from HERE
£3 redeemable against any purchase on the nightImage result for 'Safe as houses: Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell'

The Grenfell Tower fire has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing, deregulation and landlords turning a blind eye to residents' safety concerns across the UK. Stuart Hodkinson is an academic who has worked for over a decade with residents' groups in different cities, documenting their shocking regeneration experiences at the hands of private companies allowed to self-regulate on quality in lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. His research has focused on council housing regeneration schemes in London under the infamous Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

In this talk he will draw on this research to present an original analysis of why Grenfell happened and how it could easily happen again, weaving together stories from different regeneration schemes to show a terrifying pattern in which the initial promise of better quality housing melts away, leaving residents to grapple with unsafe work, higher rents and service charges, and a united front of local authority landlords and their private contractors determined to ignore, deflect, and even silence those who speak out.

He will argue that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation for good. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as 'a social service' democratically accountable to its residents.

Stuart Hodkinson is Associate Professor in Critical Urban Geography at the University of Leeds and is active in radical housing networks and campaign groups.


Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473